Cold Weather Affects Your Bill
How to lower your usage and manage your bill
by Judi Blair
Director, Customer Service
Were you surprised when you opened your last DP&L bill? Cold weather can mean a more expensive winter bill.
Frigid Temperatures Require More Energy Use
Heating and cooling can account for almost half of a home’s energy usage.
To keep your house or business at the temperature you want, more energy is used for each degree the temperature drops outside; and if your electricity usage doubles, your bill doubles. We've talked with some customers who have set their heat well over 70 degrees, creating quadrupled bills during cold snaps (every degree your thermostat is set over 68 degrees increases your bill 3%).
Colder Weather this Winter
We had cold snaps in January 2013 and in late December 2012:
- Jan 21-27: a lengthy cold snap with very low daytime high temperatures and the temperatures were in the single digits most evenings.
- Jan 1-4: the average high temp was only 28 degrees and the low temperature was only an average of 14 degrees.
- Dec 27-31: the average high temperature was 30 degrees and the low temperatures were an average of 22.
Electric Heat Customers
- If you have electric heat, or a heat pump with an electric heat back up, you will see a significant usage increase from cold temperatures.
Natural Gas Heat Customers
- Even customers with natural gas furnaces most likely have an electric starter and fan on their furnaces. When the temperatures are colder, the gas furnace engages the starter more often, drawing electricity and the fan is running more.
Other Appliances Use More Energy in the Cold
- Outdoor hot tubs, for example, are out in the cold and are set to maintain a certain temperature. The hot tub will use more energy and run more frequently as the temperature drops to keep the water from freezing.
Save Energy, Save Money
You can save by setting your thermostat at 68 degrees or below – every degree above this setting adds 3% or more to your heating costs.
Space heaters can also raise electric bills. Use them strategically to keep the room you’re in warm and turn down your furnace thermostat.
DP&L has programs to save you money. A few that could help you this winter include:
- Get a DP&L rebate on a new, energy-efficient heat pump or gas furnace fan motor.
- Get rid of extra appliances that can cost you as much as $150 a year. We’ll pick up your extra refrigerator or freezer for free, recycle it and send you $25.
We Can Help
DP&L offers a number of payment options and there are a number of payment assistance programs available from the State of Ohio to help you manage your electric bills. Ohio Winter Assistance programs are available for low income customers.
I also want to assure you that DP&L is working to hold or reduce those costs that we can control to ensure affordable electricity for our customers.
In addition to calling us at 800-433-8500, you can opt instead to send us an email, anytime, day or night. You will get a reply within one to two business days.
My team is ready to take your calls and emails, and we look forward to hearing from you!